Why Craig’s Bible translation is remarkably among Marg’s best
Marg Mowczko, at her Blog New Life, is responding to the question, Which Bible translation is best? She understands this question asked by some as meaning, Which English Bible translation is least “biased towards men when, in fact, the intended meaning of many passages is gender-inclusive (i.e. they apply to men and to women)”?
She gives us her blog readers a bit of a guessing game test:
[C]an you tell which of the following verses [in older translations] are addressed to men only (in the Greek text), and which verses are gender non-specific? The answer may surprise you. (I’ve underlined the masculine terms to highlight them.)
I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing. 1 Timothy 2:8 (NIV 1984)
If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. Romans 12:6-8 (NIV 1984)
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature . . . 2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV)
And she helps us look next as verses in newer translations:
Compare the following translations of Philippians 2:7b-8a (I have underlined the masculine words):
. . . being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man . . . NIV
. . . being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form . . . ESV
. . . being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man . . . NASB cf. KJV
. . . being born in human likeness. And being found in human form . . . NRSV cf. CEB
1 Timothy 2:3b-5 is another passage that I believe has been poorly translated in some Bibles. The NIV 1984 edition translated it like this:
. . . God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. 1 Timothy 2:3b-5 (NIV 1984, underlines added)
The ESV has one less “man/men” word.
. . . God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, (ESV, italics and underlines added)
The NIV translates it slightly more inclusively.
. . . God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, (NIV 2011, italics and underlines added)
1 Timothy 2:3b-5 is translated faithfully in the NRSV and CEB with inclusive words such as “people”, “humanity”, and “human” (instead of “man/men”).
. . . our savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. There is one God and one mediator between God and humanity, the human Christ Jesus, (CEB, italics added)
Now I want to do what our BLT co-blogger Theophrastus did by noting how remarkable what our BLT co-blogger “Craig has given us his translation of Kaddish.” I just want to show, here, what Craig Smith has given us with his translation of the Bible.
Compare the translations Marg has shown with Craig’s Bible translation of these various verses:
Therefore, I want people everywhere to lift their hands up reverently in prayer, without anger or dissention. 1 Timothy 2:8
We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophecy, use it in proportion to your faith. If your gift is ministry, use it for service, If you are a teacher, use your gift for teaching. If you are good at preaching, then preach boldly. If you give to charity, do so generously; if you are a leader, exercise your authority with care; if you help others, do so cheerfully. Romans 12:6-8
Everything that you’ve heard me teach in the presence of many witnesses–pass it on to trustworthy people, so that they, in turn, will teach others. 2 Timothy 2:2
… whoever wants to be a bishop aspires to a noble task. 1 Timothy 3:1
And for anyone who is in Christ, there is a new creation. The old order has passed away; now everything is new! 2 Corinthians 5:17
and too on the image of oppressed humankind:
born into the human condition,
found in the likeness of a human being. Philippians 2:7b-8a
. . . God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to reach full knowledge of the truth. For there is only one God, and there is only one mediator between God and humankind–Christ Jesus, who… 1 Timothy 2:3b-5